Four Ways to Thank Your Mail Carrier

After a year like 2020, they deserve every measure of gratitude.

In 2019, the United States Postal Service handled 152.6 billion in mail volume and 6.2 billion in shipping and packaging volume. Mail carriers deliver medications, small business packages, and letters to millions of people every year—and this year was no less busy. "2020 has seen its share of challenges affecting individuals and families in so many ways," says Kim Frum, a spokesperson for the United States Postal Service (USPS). "COVID-19 resulted in job losses, temporary unemployment, and, sadly, the loss of family and friends." Yet, mail continues to be delivered as much as possible despite lockdowns and delays.

female postal worker delivering a mailed package
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"Being a carrier during this time has been challenging but also gratifying. Depending on the state where they live, many customers have been on total or partial lockdown in their homes," Frum says. "Our carriers are the only link for their customers to get medicine or even basic necessities like clothing or personal care items which were ordered and shipped through the mail. Even in these socially distant times, a carrier is also an important physical connection for their customers with a simple smile and wave as they deliver the mail."

That connection is all the more important during the holiday season when we show gratitude for one another. And, as Frum says, "being able to provide even the tiniest bit of normalcy or spark of happiness to those in need would mean the world to so many people right now. The holidays are about kindness, joy, love, family, and friends." So, what are some ways that you can show appreciation for your mail carrier this holiday and all year round?

Clearing the Way

If it snows where you live, then clearing a safe path to your mailbox will go a long way to show appreciation to your mail carrier. Clear away snow, debris, and other hazards early in the morning following a snowfall. You should also make sure to keep your pets inside around mail delivery time. This way your carrier doesn't need to worry about a barking dog or animal that could approach them as they deliver the mail.

Pandemic Protection Supplies

Another way to show thoughtfulness for your mail carrier is to provide a gift of gloves, face masks, hand sanitizer, or sanitizing wipes that they can use on their shifts or as needed throughout their day. Bottles of water are great during summer heat but still good to give in the winter months. Mail carriers often work long shifts to try to deliver as much mail as possible every day.

Homemade Gifts and Artwork

"Lots of children have [given drawings and artwork] during 2020," Frum says. Your children can create drawings or make cards that show appreciation to the mail carrier. Other homemade gifts, like scarves or small gift baskets of homemade goodies, are also thoughtful. Leave them by your mailbox with a note that it's for the mail carrier.

A Written Thank-You

Simple kind gestures like writing a letter of thanks or a greeting card to your mail carrier will go a long way in showing appreciation. If you also want to include a gift card, the amount should be for $20 or less. Frum says not to give multiple gift cards of $20; the total amount needs to be $20 or less for mail carriers to be allowed to accept the gift, per the law.

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